Dear Daughter: A Hearing Loss Poem

Dear Daughter A Hearing Loss Poem

 

 

What do you do when one of the people who is most important to you is also one of the people who is hardest for you to hear? You get frustrated, you cry, you fight, but you don’t give up. You keep working at it because it is so important. Maybe you express your sadness and desire for good communication in a poem. I hope you can feel the love I have for my daughter in every word.

 

 

 

Your voice is soft. You face away from me when you talk, distracted by something nearby. You cover your mouth with your hands. You speak rapidly and slur your words together. You laugh and talk at the same time. You cry and talk at the same time. It’s not your fault. You are a pre-teen girl. That is what they do.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

I do everything I can. I wear my hearing aids. I look at you to get clues from your face and lips. I remind you to speak up, to look at me, to speak slower. I remind you again. Sometimes I turn your face towards me. You don’t like that.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

Your father repeats what you say. Your brother repeats what you say. You repeat yourself once, twice. It starts off loud but gets quieter as the sentence goes on as if you forget along the way why you are repeating yourself.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

Should we write each other notes? Learn sign language? Pretend we are on the stage and enunciate? Get a megaphone? A special sound system? Not talk? No, not that.

But it is hard for me to hear you.

It’s not fair, I know, having a mom that cannot hear you. I would change it if I could, but I cannot. I will try harder, but it is really up to you.

Please keep trying. I want to hear you.


Shari!

 

Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer and avid Bikram yogi, serving on the Board of Trustees of both Hearing Health Foundation and Hearing Loss Association of America. Her bylines include The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping, Healthy Living Magazine, The Good Men Project, The Hearing Journal, Hearing Loss Magazine, and Hearing Health Magazine. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing loss. Read her blog at Living with Hearing Loss and find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 


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12 thoughts on “Dear Daughter: A Hearing Loss Poem

  1. Cathy Chester Reply

    Oh, how hard it must be for you, Shari, to let your daughter know with great love and compassion that you have trouble hearing her sweet voice. I’m sure with your loving guidance you will be able to work this out. What a wonderful mom you are. Lovely post.

  2. Anna R Palmer Reply

    Oh…we all have trouble hearing our children figuratively…but you write so beautifully about the literal challenge of hearing loss. I think about restaurants not relationships. Thank you for the lyrical reminder.

  3. Tamuria Reply

    A beautiful poem and one day your daughter will understand how amazing it is to have a mum who actually wants to hear her when there are so many out there who don’t listen to their kids.

  4. Jennifer Reply

    She will remember eventually, but it’s sometimes difficult. When I was young, I used to cover my mouth a lot when I was talking (self-conscious) until I realized that some people really need to see what I say, but that took some time.

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